Why Leftists Hate Clint Eastwood So Much
And what his most enduring contribution to American culture really is.
Hey, not all the news is bad: A new Clint Eastwood movie is coming out (Stephen Kruiser has details on it here, and Bryan Preston has more here). Back in the spring of 2019, I was laid up in the hospital for six weeks, and to get through the long hours of lying around not being able to do anything, I watched almost every movie Clint Eastwood has been in, all the way back to the mid-1960s. As I revisited Dirty Harry, The Outlaw Josey Wales, High Plains Drifter, Pale Rider, Gran Torino and so many others, I began to realize what Clint Eastwood’s most enduring contribution to American culture really is: He is a man. And as a man, he stands, and his body of work stands, as a monumental rebuke to the ethos of the Left today.
Although he famously debated Barack Obama’s empty chair at the 2012 Republican National Convention, Eastwood is not a doctrinaire conservative: He even endorsed the bumbling billionaire Michael Bloomberg in 2020, but his body of work makes that a forgivable lapse. Eastwood has singlehandedly done more to fight back against the Left’s war on masculinity than anyone else who has a high profile in the popular culture.
The characters he has played in so many movies are the polar opposite of the simpering pajama boy chugging down soy lattes and voting for Bernie and Old Joe. The Dirty Harry movies have for decades enraged the Left with Eastwood’s positive depiction of a cop who is disgusted by the coddling of criminals by Leftist politicians, and willing to do what is necessary to bring offenders to justice. The famed film critic Roger Ebert said prissily: “The movie’s moral position is fascist. No doubt about it.” Another renowned critic, Pauline Kael, agreed: “When you’re making a picture with Clint Eastwood, you naturally want things to be simple, and the basic contest between good and evil is as simple as you can get. It makes this genre piece more archetypal than most movies, more primitive and dreamlike; fascist medievalism has a fairy-tale appeal.” She added: “this action genre has always had a fascist potential, and it has finally surfaced.”
In reality, there is nothing either fascist or medieval about Dirty Harry. Leftists tend to call anything they don’t like “fascist,” but what Dirty Harry is really doing is showing one man’s frustration with the legalistic technicalities and loopholes that criminals and their defenders have exploited for a generation to enable the obviously guilty to walk free, and the tendency of Leftist authorities (think Kamala Harris) to focus on the rights of criminals even at the expense of the rights of their victims. Dirty Harry shows how dangerous the Left’s focus can be; that’s why Leftists hate it so passionately.
Then there is one of Eastwood’s many classic Westerns, Pale Rider. Eastwood plays a character known as The Preacher, who arrives in a Western town wearing a clerical collar and stays long enough to take it off and mete out vengeance against desperados working for a mining tycoon, who are menacing a small camp of independent prospectors. After they shoot a teen girl’s dog, she prays: “If You don’t help us, we’re all going to die. Please, just one miracle.” Enter the mysterious Preacher, who supplies the requested miracle. The title of the movie comes from Revelation 6:8: “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.”
So amid the ambiguity surrounding Eastwood’s character, we have what appears to be an acknowledgment of God and a prayer that is answered, with evil defeated and justice restored.
You can see why Leftists would hate this guy. Today Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Cloud Cuckoo Land) referred to women as “people who give birth” and “any menstruating person.” When she was challenged on this, she doubled down, tweeting: “Not just women! Trans men & non-binary people can also menstruate….GOP mad at this are protecting the patriarchal idea that women are most valuable as uterus holders. Trans, two-spirit, and non-binary people have always existed and will always exist. People can stay mad about that if they want, or they can grow up.”
Growing up is not exactly what people have to do in order to accept this nonsense. AOC would make better use of her time if she paused to watch a few Clint Eastwood movies and discovered what a man actually is (and what a woman is as well). For being a man all these years as masculinity has been derided as “toxic” and increasingly vilified in our ridiculous culture, all men and women owe Clint Eastwood a debt of gratitude. Watch some of his old movies, and don’t miss his new one, which is called…Cry Macho.
Originally posted at PJ Media.